What helps me is blogging every morning. What helps me is sharing my experience.
Today, I’ll be sharing my experience at my college reunion in a five-minute speech about living with my very unusual heart. It’ll help if I can record it, so I’ll do my best. If I can’t record it, I’ll help you experience the speech by sharing the full text here, tomorrow.
Yesterday, it helped for me to facilitate a Coping and Healing group at work and then to spend the day at my reunion with my long-time friend Lawry.
It helps to have friends. Here’s part of today’s speech:
So as I tell my story to you today, I wonder, perhaps along with you, what has allowed me to survive, so intact, through all this? What has helped me pick up the pieces, over and over again? As when I was a child — the love of my family and friends sustain me. Also, seven years ago I expanded my network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including today, I’ve written about my heart, my son, my passion for the healing power of groups, my song-writing, my cats, my hopes, my fears, this speech — whatever helps gird me and prepare me for the day ahead. The day after my heart valve surgery was the only day I needed a substitute blogger — my boyfriend Michael let my thousands of followers know I had survived the complicated procedure. Their comments included “Fantastic news! I’m in public but I’m dancing all the same,” and “’She’s going to be alright guys’ is the best line ever!”
the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it.
the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also, the capacity for this.
the actions of people I love, and
a license plate from New Hampshire.
Empathy appears in all those places, but not very much in the news lately. Is it non-empathic of me to believe that most people in the news don’t seem to have the capacity for it?
Are any of my other photos from yesterday infused with empathy?
If I were the Queen of Amazing Empathy, I wouldn’t have eaten all those mussels last night.
See, the main reason I’m writing today’s “See” post is because yesterday I saw my friend Deb and we went to SEE in Harvard Square to seek new eyeglasses. See, Deb (who I’ve seen for about 50 years) and I see eye-to-eye about many things, including how great the frames are at SEE. Deb and I are a little concerned we won’t see each other as much when I move near the sea, but I see lots of fun times for us in the future.
Would you like to see the photos from SEE?
Do you see Christina in that last photo? She works at SEE and is also a counseling and psychology graduate student at Lesley University. I could see a lot of great qualities in Christina that will serve her well when she sees clients in the future.
Would you like to see my other photos from yesterday?
Can you see “Happy Father’s Day” in that sign above? I don’t get to see my late father any more, but it makes me happy to see him in this old photo of us.
I see that YouTube has this song, which I remember my father singing.
I’ll be seeing you in your comments, below.
See, I am very grateful to all who helped me see and share all the elements of this post and — of course! — to you, for seeing my blog, here and now.
As I listen to that this morning, I am creatively moved to write that I probably could have sung even better if I hadn’t nervously sat for hours without moving or eating, waiting for my turn to perform near the end of the night.
Now let’s see your creativity on the move, in a comment!
Thanks to all who helped me be creativity on the move yesterday and to you — of course! — for your moving creativity, here and now.
Yesterday, when my 17-year-old son Aaron and I took the opportunity to go into Harvard Square (which you might be able to envision in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), we didn’t envision all the opportunities we’d find there.
Here are other envisioned images I had the opportunity to capture, yesterday:
Can you envision the opportunities if we actually enjoyed and did not destroy?
Envision the opportunities I have to thank so many who helped me create this post, including my son Aaron, Harvard Square, the HONK festival, the Leftist Marching Band, and other activist bands from Detroit and elsewhere. And allow me the opportunity to thank you — of course! — for all the opportunities you envision, here and now.
In case you’re having trouble reading between those lines, the main line says
Lettuce read beetween the limes
… a line I read as a triple pun. While I enjoy lines with puns, I would draw the line at two.
Nevertheless, I appreciated reading that line yesterday, because I read it as an invitation to pay attention and go deeper, especially if all meanings are not immediately obvious.
Harvard Square is an excellent place to practice reading between the lines, because
It’s a square, so there are at least four lines,
Many of the architectural lines have been around for centuries, and
Many of the lines you hear spoken there are smart, deep, and complicated, so there’s plenty of meaning between the lines, waiting to be read.
Lettuce see if there are any lines in yesterday’s photos we can read beetween.
That’s the first photo I lined up yesterday, while I was walking around with my 17-year-old son, Aaron. I don’t have to read between the lines to know that Aaron prefers me to not snap photos when I’m in his line of sight, but he was okay with my lining up that one. How would you read between the lines there?
Those lines were okay with Aaron, too. How might you read between them?
At this point, I started reading between the lines without Aaron, who was meeting his long-time friend Cameron for a birthday party between the lines in Harvard Square. How would you read between those lines?
In the 1970s, I saw comedian Robert Klein perform his stand-up routine two nights in a row at that club. How would you read between those lines?
Here are two shots I took through the windows of the Harvard Coop:
Any lines to read between there?
In a direct line with the Beat Hotel, I encountered this guy, playing impressive beats and lines on a keyboard, with a line of people listening:
How might you read between those lines?
Here are more lines I saw yesterday, ready for reading between:
You might read between the lines of those photos and conclude that I bought a cookie in Harvard Square yesterday. I did not. Instead, I read between the lines of my craving for sweets and came up with a new diet plan. For as long as I can hold the line on this, I shall mindfully indulge only my sense of smell around delicious cookies, candies, and other things that usually are on a direct line between my brain and my tummy.
Reading between the lines of that last paragraph: I want to look great for my high school reunion in September, so I’ll be smelling cookies, not eating them.
Any readings between those lines?
Now I need to read between the musical lines and leave a good enough song between the lines of this post.
Here‘s one of the tunes that a self-loving creature was playing yesterday on the keyboard, between the lines of Harvard Square:
It’s time to finish the lines of this post, so I can read between the lines spoken by people seeking therapy support in my office.
Between-the-lines thanks to my son, to Harvard Square, to Rick James, and to you — of course! — for reading this between other lines you choose, today.
Because my thumbs are sore this morning — from typing so much on my iPhone keyboard — I am focusing on sayings about thumbs, including:
“Thumbs up” (meaning approval)
“Thumbs down” (meaning a negative judgment)
“All thumbs” (meaning clumsy), and
“Stick out like a sore thumb” (which is what my first heart surgeon told my parents my first cardiac pacemaker would do, when I was 10 years old).
Pain makes things stick out like a sore thumb, so it’s no wonder my mind is thumbing through thumb-related associations and memories.
My calves are sore too, today, but I can’t think of any sayings about calves. If you can, I certainly won’t thumb my nose at that.
Are there any thumbs in the photos I snapped yesterday, always using my left thumb?
No thumbs to be seen in that photo, but I am giving a big thumbs down to myself for leaving my car’s moonroof open during a night of rain.
Something’s up in that photo, but it’s not a thumb.
I can see several thumbs in that last photo. Can you?
No thumbs there.
See that guy, to the left, holding his thumb at his side? He’s wearing a New York Yankee shirt and hat, right next to Boston’s Fenway Park. Moments later, two Boston fans verbally thumbed their noses at him, with
“You’re in the wrong city, buddy.”
There he is again, after that thumbs down.
Speaking of thumbs down, that’s how I feel about one of my favorite Starbucks baristas, Kevin, leaving the Boston hospital where we both work.
Kevin is using his thumb to put the going-away card I just gave him into his apron pocket.
Thumbs up to Kevin for going to another Starbucks closer to where he lives and thumbs up to Alex, for staying.
Personally, I give two thumbs up to these next two photos, from where I work:
Thumbs up or down to any of these photos I took after work?
That’s Tom, who said he’d give me a thumbs up if I contributed just $1 to a campaign to fight hunger.
Here’s Tom’s reaction
… when I told him I’d thumbed over five times that amount.
There’s one of the nice guys who works where I park my car near Fenway Park. I gave him a thumbs up for putting my car near that door, so I could make a quick escape.
I always give two thumbs up to spending a Friday evening with my 17-year-old son Aaron and my 50-something-year-old boyfriend, Michael. Last night, I used my thumbs on the steering wheel of my cat* to drive us to Harvard Square in Cambridge. A big thumbs up to all the fun we had there.
After I used my thumbs to eat a “Longy School of Music” ( not pictured) and was all thumbs enough to spill some of that Smores Frappe (pictured) on myself, we went next door to the Harvard Book Store, where we thumbed through lots of books:
I bought one of those dozens of books, pictured above . A gigantic thumbs up to anybody who can guess which book that is.
What thumb-related music am I using for this all-thumbs post?